Albania ready to challenge British Olympians in first round of European Champs
2013 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Men
Tirana, Albania, May 9, 2012. Albania men’s national team is intensively preparing for the home and away matches with Great Britain whereby the guys from the “Eagles’ Country” will be starting their campaign in the 2013 CEV Volleyball European Championship. This is actually a very tough challenge for the group around head coach Ylli Tomorri especially as their opponents have tremendously progressed in their lead-up to the upcoming London Olympics.
Tomorri has been working with a group of 16 players, mostly playing for Albanian clubs. Since the domestic competitions were completed just a couple of weeks ago, their shape is evidently quite good, while Enea Xhelati just got back from Greece to join the group after completing his season in the neighboring country playing for Aris Marmouris THESSALONIKI. However, Albania is sidelined by the absence of some guys who are playing abroad and this certainly influences the chances of the local heroes to advance to the second round. Head coach Tomorri is nevertheless confident as he expects a couple of good performances by his players and especially by some young guys who represent the future of Volleyball in Albania as well as of the national team. The main goal remains to get together a strong group that shall be competitive for the Mediterranean Games scheduled for next year in Mersin, Turkey.
“We will play against a group that is just about to participate in the Olympic Games. They have a very impressive budget while we are sidelined by the absence of some good players, but still we are not going to surrender that easily” says Tomorri. “We want to pay back our fans with a very solid performance and try to exploit every single opportunity we may have” he adds. As they were fine tuning their preparations for the matches with Great Britain, Albania’s home heroes edged twice (3:2 and 3:1) neighboring Montenegro in friendly matches that were held in the seaside city of Bar.
The game scheduled for this Saturday, May 12, at “Asllan Rusi” sports hall in Tirana will be the first time these sides cross their ways in an international competition. However, back in 2009, Albania hosted the British guys who eventually claimed four friendly matches played in Tirana and Durres through July 21-24.